McDonald's Has a Riverside Restaurant with a Float-Thru Window

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McDonald's customers are likely familiar with the restaurant's drive-thru windows — but have they ever heard of a float-thru?

One would have to go to Hamburg, Germany to experience it. There, on a little canal off the Elbe river in Germany, sits the McBoat — the world's first and only paddle-through McDonald's.

YouTuber Tom Scott, who's known for visiting unusual places, took a trip there recently on his kayak, documenting his travels in a video posted to the social media site this week.

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The business has been open since 2015, and only shuts the dockside pickup during the winter.

"In the spring and summer, we are 24/7," restaurant manager Andrian Dudziak explained to Scott. "People are so happy to see this because they read this or saw this on Instagram and they come especially for this."

The location initially had a microphone and speaker on the dock, to mimic a traditional drive-thru, but now visitors have to place their orders on a smartphone.

Employees inside watch the dock via cameras and can see when customers pull up. One person then goes and brings the bag out and wishes them an 'Enjoy your meal' and a happy, good day, said Dudziak.

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Boat Thru McDonalds
Boat Thru McDonalds

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As for the menu, it is as unique as the float-thru itself (like many international McDonald's menus). Scott ordered himself a vegan burger, Kartoffel-Dippers with Heatwave sauce, and a mango-pineapple smoothie.

"One of the things I've learned over the years I've been making videos is that people like a combination of novelty and familiarity," Scott said. "If everything changes, people don't like it and they move to other things. But if nothing changes, people get bored and they move to other things."

"In the same way, I think it's fascinating to find something that's very close to what you already know but changes it in one or two interesting ways," he added. "Seeing small reinventions of that formula can be fascinating."